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Murray Professorship Announced

February 21, 2012

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Terrence Murray Professorship. The intention of the Murray Professorship is to secure the attention of the senior faculty for programs for Commonwealth Honors College students by providing significant support for program or curriculum development. Although this Professorship is of a fixed term, it is

a named professorship within the University, and thus it should be held by a faculty member whose credentials within the discipline make such an award appropriate.

The Murray Professor may be appointed for two or three years.  The Murray Professor is expected to devote approximately half time to enhancing honors instruction within their discipline.  It is expected that a principal use of the income from the Murray endowment ($50,000 per year) will be to reimburse the Department for teaching releases for the incumbent.  It may also be used for expenses associated with program development.

Following is the announcement to faculty and guidelines for preparing a proposal. Proposals are due March 26th, 2012.


REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

THE TERRENCE MURRAY
COMMONWEALTH HONORS COLLEGE PROFESSORSHIP

The Murray Professorship, funded by an endowment created by Terrence Murray, offers members of the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Amherst the opportunity to enhance the honors experience within their disciplines.  The Professorship will be awarded for a two or three year term, during which the incumbent will develop innovative coursework or programming for Commonwealth Honors College students.  It is expected that the Murray Professor will devote approximately half time to the work of the Professorship.  The income from the endowment (approximately $50,000 per year) will be available to reimburse the incumbent’s department for the time focused on the Professorship and for the expenses of program development.

The intention of the Murray Professorship is to secure the attention of the faculty on programs for Commonwealth Honors College students by providing significant support both to the incumbent and to his or her department for program or curriculum development. Although this Professorship is for a fixed term, it is a named professorship within the University, and thus the incumbent should be a faculty member whose credentials within the discipline make such an award appropriate. 

Examples of the work of past Murray Professors include creation of new capstone courses: one on the ethnography of our campus involving students in field research and writing an honors thesis; another in cellular biology through which students work in parallel on unique laboratory research projects of their own design.
Review of proposals will follow the timeline below:
Proposals due:    Monday, March 26, 2012
Notification of award:  Monday, April 23, 2012

Contact Meredith Lind, Executive Director, phone (577-0729) and email (mlind@honors.umass.edu), about this program.

Guidelines for the proposal follow.


GUIDELINES FOR PREPARING A PROPOSAL FOR THE MURRAY PROFESSORSHIP

The proposal should include:
 A description of the teaching project proposed (2 pages)
 A budget
 A letter from the candidate’s department head
 The candidate’s CV
 The names and addresses of three people we can contact for references

The project description should present the concept to be developed, previous work that may lead to this proposal, and a timeline for implementation, including when proposed new courses will first be offered. If a multi-course program is proposed, make clear what existing courses will be used or modified. The target audience (what subset of the student population) should be described, with an assessment of the opportunities to attract appropriate students into the activity.  The way the proposed program aligns with the Commonwealth Honors College curricular requirements should be addressed, as well as the place the proposed program would have within the students’ major(s) and a description of how the success of the program will be evaluated.

While the fellowship is intended to support work within the incumbent’s discipline, that can be broadly interpreted.  However, if a project is proposed that will require the cooperation of a department other than the incumbent’s for implementation, that cooperation should be assured by letter.
The budget should specify the amount to be distributed to the candidate’s department for the release of time for project work, and specify the kinds of expenses (student assistant, travel, production of materials, etc.) and the amounts that will be needed during program development.  These funds will be disbursed directly by Commonwealth Honors College; no indirect costs apply.  Any essential expenses should be shown as direct costs within the budget.  Plan for not more than $50,000 per year.  Funds can carry forward across fiscal years. Note, funds must be spent during the active grant timeline. At the end of the award period, unspent funds will revert back to Commonwealth Honors College.

The Department Head’s letter should state clearly that the Department concurs with the proposal and the budget.  Because the intent of the Fellowship is to provide ongoing programming for students, the Department Head should address how the work proposed is or will become part of the Department’s ongoing curricular plans for Departmental Honors and ensure that the course/program will continue after the professorship has ended. When awarded, an MOU will be established with the department.

The candidate’s CV
The candidate need not have the rank of full professor, but should be of sufficient reputation within his or her discipline for an award of distinction within the University.